Who Is Whitney Duncan? – The Story Behind Her Journey to Country Music

Whitney Duncan

As a former contestant on the fifth season of Nashville Star and, later, a competitor on the 23rd season of Survivor, Whitney Duncan has been acquainted with just about any obstacle or challenge whether it be in the limelight or not. During our most recent Swag Spotlight interview, Duncan discussed everything from falling in love with music at such a young age, her reality TV detour as well as both current and previous music releases.

At four years old, right around the time her granddad had introduced her to Elvis and became so intrigued by his art, Duncan claimed she had found her calling, and she could not have been more accurate. “…I was walking out of church, and I guess the sermon had been about everybody having a purpose… and I told my mom, I was like ‘well I know my purpose, I’m gonna sing’”, Duncan explains, thinking back on that moment of innocent confidence. Though, this was not some fantastical dream. Not for Duncan. Flash forward to today, and this singer-songwriter chased after that momentous dream with no hesitation.

In fact, nine years later, at the age of 13, Duncan had been offered a record deal and though it didn’t turn out to be entirely authentic or reliable, it had brought her to Nashville. And after being advised by a vocal coach and an entertainment attorney, Duncan walked away from the opportunity and began writing songs because “that’s what this city is all about…it’s a song city, for sure”.

Now, an artist who has collaborated and toured with Kenny Rogers, Duncan is ready to release new music after almost 11 years since her debut full-length album Right Road Now. “You live, you learn. You change so much from your early 20s to early 30s, so I’m just bringing a whole different perspective,” the singer reveals.

The latest single release titled “Lightweight” is a tell-tale sign that Duncan’s music has taken on a new layer of maturity both sonically and vocally. After a writing retreat on the beach with her bandmates and her now-producer Michael Carter in April 2016, “Lightweight” has been reinvented years later and inspired a new project that is under construction with new music on the horizon.

To keep up with Whitney Duncan, follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter.

“Lightweight” is now available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released music here on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.

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SHOP THE HERO COLLECTION

The Hero Collection by NYCountry Swag is inspired by the men and women of the Fire, Police and Military Departments across the country. A portion of sales from each purchase is donated to different foundations that support our heroes. We are dedicated to honoring their service and remembering their sacrifice.

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Thank You for supporting Country Music in NYC & Beyond!

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Who Is Priscilla Block? – The Story Behind Her Journey to Country Music

Priscilla Block

Primed for a career as a singer-songwriter, our Swag Spotlight artist this week, Priscilla Block is someone you’re going to want to remember. During our conversation, we spoke about her upbringing, her move to Nashville, and how fitting the “mold” in country music is just not for her.

Growing up in North Carolina, Block found herself always drawn to music. She sang worship music at church with her mother, and eventually took an interest in guitar. “I was the girl learning all the Taylor Swift songs on the guitar,” she laughs, telling us, “I wrote my first song when I was 15, and I just fell in love with writing and performing for people. Anyone that would listen to me, I would play for.”

Although an avid Swift fan, (still) Block credits her openness to all sorts of music for her creative process today. “My first concert was Celine Dion,” she shared, adding “I loved 90s country, like Shania Twain and Martina McBride, but I also listen to a lot of pop and rap.” She later shared that she has always loved Chris Brown and Usher. Nowadays, the songstress finds herself adding incredible female artists like Lizzo, Cardi B, Miranda Lambert, and Kacey Musgraves to her music library.

Straight out of high-school, Block headed to Nashville, where she currently resides. At first, she tried to make it in the music industry, all while going to school and working full-time, but it came apparent to her shortly after her move that it was an all or nothing type of thing. “One day, I decided that I just needed to give it a go. I quit my job, I quit school and just started networking like crazy in Nashville,” adding later, “I would go to shows, ask people to write that I loved their songs, and just really put myself in uncomfortable situations for the first little bit until I really established my core group of people in Nashville.”

Since meeting her crew, Block has also found her loyal fanbase and following on social media. Her song “Thick Thighs’ went viral on TikTok and is a crowd favorite during live shows. The female-empowerment anthem is just as important to Block as it is to her fans. “That song is 100% me in a nutshell,” she begins, “It started out as a joke, we started playing it live, and the response was really, really cool.” The response led her to record the track, much to fan’s happiness. “I needed to write “Thick Thighs” to be really able to embrace, who I am, and hopefully let other people love themselves too.”

With a newfound sense of confidence, Block was able to tap into her vulnerability too, letting fans into her more emotive side. Her newest song “Just About Over You,” was written a week after she ran into her ex out a bar. “It’s about a relationship that I was in. Just trying to get over somebody and sometimes it feels like forever to finally be down with someone.” Whether it’s a power anthem or a heartbreaking emotional song, Block can truly express the gamut of emotions with her vocal ability and talent.

Although the rest of 2020 looks bleak for live music, Block has a one of a kind, positive-spirit. She believes in the power of manifesting the good in life. She promises fans that more music is on the horizon and shares that she will be on the biggest and baddest stages performing for all her loyal fans next year!

To keep up with Priscilla Block follow her on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

“Just About Over You” is now available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released music here on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.

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SHOP THE HERO COLLECTION

The Hero Collection by NYCountry Swag is inspired by the men and women of the Fire, Police and Military Departments across the country. A portion of sales from each purchase is donated to different foundations that support our heroes. We are dedicated to honoring their service and remembering their sacrifice.

—————————-

Thank You for supporting Country Music in NYC & Beyond!

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NYCS Swag Spotlight Southerland

Southerland

A brand new duo has hit country music airwaves with Nashville artists Matt Chase and Chris Rogers. The group called ‘Southerland’ has been years in the making, whether the pair of singer-songwriters had plans to officially join forces or not. Instead, they had been pushing for their own solo careers while booking gigs and playing covers together to, in the meantime, pay the bills.

“We were just playing cover songs, and making enough money to get by so you can pay gas to get to the next show,” explains Chase, a native from a small suburban neighborhood in Charleston. While Rogers, who comes from a musical-oriented family from Washington, Georgia, talks about how the concept of becoming a duo was so farfetched for them. “I can’t tell you how many times we’ve had the conversation with people after we’ve played when they’d talk to us after the shows. They’d be like ‘you guys are great, how do we find you’. And, we’d have to explain to them that we’re not a duo. We’re not playing together, we’re just doing our own solo thing.”

Despite years of positive feedback and tons shows, it wasn’t until winter of 2019 that Southerland was truly set in stone after signing a record deal with River House Artists. Though, even this deal took years to finalize when Chase and Rogers were a part of the 2017 Key West Songwriters Festival and a representative from the label approached them with an offer. “…and fast forward to winter of 2019, we finally took her up on that offer. And, here we are. So, we’d been writing a lot over the past 18 months and gearing up now for the release of our first single,” said Rogers.

“Thing Is” acts as Southerland’s debut single which was heavily influenced by the ‘90s country feel, something both artists described as being what drove them to Nashville in the first place. Written by the duo along with frequent collaborator Greg Bates, the song is the perfect introduction to a group that tries to make everything fun and enjoyable. “…if you’re not making music and trying to have fun with it…if you’re not enjoying it, then I think you’re probably doing it for the wrong reasons. So, that’s the common theme that we try to find through everything,” Rogers continued.

After becoming involved with many associations such as WME and Reservoir, Southerland has continued to write and line up plans for the future, though their sole focus has been on the release of “Thing Is”. And despite not having an exact time, they look forward to the moment when they’re able to get back out on the road and introduce themselves to an audience as the duo who decided to partner up during one of the craziest years yet. Though Chase emphasizes how the terrible year has been, it’s also quite a blessing in disguise since it put everything on pause. “We’ve produced some great songs that I’m super proud of. Even though it’s a terrible situation, there’s a silver lining, because maybe if we had been on the road this year, we wouldn’t have gotten the songs that we have.”

To keep up with Southerland follow them on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

“Thing Is” is now available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more recently released music here on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.

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SHOP THE HERO COLLECTION

The Hero Collection by NYCountry Swag is inspired by the men and women of the Fire, Police and Military Departments across the country. A portion of sales from each purchase is donated to different foundations that support our heroes. We are dedicated to honoring their service and remembering their sacrifice.

Saturday Night Live Combs

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Thank You for supporting Country Music in NYC & Beyond!

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NYCS Swag Spotlight: Jay Bragg

Jay Bragg

A family-bred musician from Maine and a former bandmate of ‘North of Nashville’ who toured all across the country to open for artists such as Dierks Bentley, Chris Stapleton, and Brothers Osborne, Jay Bragg has been built and trained in more ways than one to take on a solo career. In our most recent Swag Spotlight, Bragg discussed everything from musical influences to what drives him to be an entertainer.

The Portland-native and Bruce Springsteen enthusiast not only aims to reach people’s souls with his music but “to take a leap to reach a wider audience”. Bragg explains that he is constantly trying to challenge himself as an artist, a writer, and an entertainer which was what initiated the move to Nashville. “You just get to the point, you know, you’re a big fish in a small pond […] (I wanted to) really break out from the confines of a band situation, and just do my own thing as a solo artist where I’m the curator of everything– soup to nuts.”

A new chapter of music has begun for the steadfast singer-songwriter, after releasing his own debut record in June 2018. Now, Bragg has released the first volume of his second record Find Me In a Song which encompasses three new tracks. The album is set to release through three different phases over the next few months. The second date with three more songs is set to be released on October 1.

“When The Sun Sets”, which is a song that can be found on the second volume, is a strong and sentimental dedication to Bragg’s childhood best friend Tim who tragically passed away in a car accident at 17 years old. Tim introduced Bragg to all different kinds of music such as rock ‘n roll from the late ’60s into the 1970s. “That song starts off ‘I can’t hear Touch of Grey without thinking about those good old days’, Tim turned me onto the Grateful Dead, and Touch Of Grey is a song that we listened to by the Grateful Dead all the time.”

Eric Mallon and the artist himself wrote the song, which was said to have practically written itself. “I knew that I had tapped into something so deeply real, […] specifically, about losing a loved one and knowing that someday you will see them again- somehow reuniting with their energy and their essence.” While the song is a makeshift memorial and celebration of both life and Tim, Bragg acknowledges that the lyrics relate to all scenarios that deal with loss and the sadness that comes with it alongside contradicting emotions of joy, hope, and healing. “Everybody has gone through loss, it’s a recurring theme in life. There’s a ton of loss that comes through living, and I wanted to write (about that).”

Bragg has gracefully endured releasing new music through the pandemic and status of the world by using new, more creative methods to do so. The option of delaying the release of Find Me In a Song or waiting for the world to open up again was easy to dismiss because this is a “business of delivering joy and hope and goodness through music”. Bragg’s hope and prayers are simple: that this new music reaches all the people that need to hear it.

To keep up with Jay Bragg follow him on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

The first phase of his album ‘Find Me in a Song’ is now available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more recently released music here on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.

 

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SHOP THE HERO COLLECTION

The Hero Collection by NYCountry Swag is inspired by the men and women of the Fire, Police and Military Departments across the country. A portion of sales from each purchase is donated to different foundations that support our heroes. We are dedicated to honoring their service and remembering their sacrifice.

Saturday Night Live Combs

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Thank You for supporting Country Music in NYC & Beyond!

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NYCS Swag Spotlight: Jaden Hamilton

jaden Hamilton

Our Swag Spotlight this week shines on newcomer Jaden Hamilton. The Louisana native may only be 19 years old but he is determined to pursue a career in a field that has given him solace since he was young. In a recent chat, Hamilton tells NYCountry Swag about growing up in Prairieville, LA, a town filled with sugarcane fields and dirt roads and how he recalls listening to classic country and rock n roll. He loved singing from an early age and taught himself how to play guitar and write songs. Like so many, he played sports in high school, thinking that is what he would pursue in college however just a few short weeks after enrolling at LSU, he dropped out, knowing that there was something drawing him to music and Nashville. “I always ran back to music, whether it was an escape or what, I always went back to it,” he tells us.

Once making the move to Nashville, Hamilton explains how he learned to truly hone and work on his songwriting craft. “I would write songs in my head and sing them throughout the day, write them down when I got home but it was hard for me to finish the songs so when I moved to Nashville, it was helpful to have other people help me to get my point across and it has definitely opened a lot more doors to my mind, ways to think, ways to set up hooks, ideas, ways to get to what you are trying to say.”

 

Throughout his career, Hamilton has used the power of technology and the ability to let talent shine through virally to his advantage. The first cover video he posted garnered 60k views overnight, creating and building an instant fanbase. He has spent the last few months writing and creating music as well as releasing two new tracks that fans are loving. “Found Myself In a Country Song” was written by Hamilton along with Carlton Anderson and Matthew McVaney and he tells us is one of his favorites that he has written so far. “Whether it was singing on my own or listening to music, it would fix me and heal my mood,” he explains. “That song is about some of the songs that have impacted me and ways that country music has impacted me and I feel like a lot of people can relate to that.” The second song, “Long Night Letting Go” is an outside cut, however, upon first listen, Hamilton fell in love and knew he wanted to record it.

Besides releasing these two new tracks, the true blue country boy has taken to TikTok and Instagram Live to perform for his quickly growing fanbase, using the opportunity to test out new music and see what reactions are. He is looking forward to being able to play these new songs live for an audience soon, and to releasing more new tracks including a debut EP.

To keep up with Jaden Hamilton follow him on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

“Found Myself in a Country Song” and “Long Night Letting Go” are now available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released music here on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.

—————

SHOP THE HERO COLLECTION

The Hero Collection by NYCountry Swag is inspired by the men and women of the Fire, Police, and Military Departments across the country. A portion of sales from each purchase is donated to different foundations that support our heroes. We are dedicated to honoring their service and remembering their sacrifice.

—————————-

Thank You for supporting Country Music in NYC & Beyond!

Subscribe to our Weekly Round-Up here 
for ticket giveaways, meet & greet contests, upcoming events,
and all things country music in the New York metro area and beyond!

+ Follow our country music adventures on InstagramTwitter & Facebook:

NYCS Swag Spotlight: Liv Charette

Liv Charette

 

A native of Ottowa, Canada, our Swag Spotlight this week shines on Liv Charette. As a young girl, all of her time and energy focused on figure skating, a sport where dedication is needed and for eleven years, she learned that hard work is needed when following a passion. When she turned 14, she hung up her skates and decided to pursue a new dream, music. Growing up idolizing powerhouse singers like Trisha Yearwood, Martina McBride, and Shania Twain, Charette gravitated towards music and performing after learning how to sing with her grandfather. “Everything that I learned in skating, translated well into music, especially the performance side and the work ethic as well,” she tells us in a recent phone interview. 

Learning to play the guitar and starting to write her own music when she was 16, she started playing shows and festivals in her hometown and once she graduated from high school, was connected with a few people in Nashville and made the move. She attended Belmont University, studying the business side of music as well as audio engineering, and since graduating has dedicated her whole life to her music. 

It is such an exciting time not only for young female artists but specifically, those who were born and raised in Canada. Lindsay Ell just released an incredible project, Tenille Townes is celebrating her debut record released earlier this summer, and one of our 2020 Artists to Watch, Madison Kozak continues to gain fans and accolades in Music City. Charette is inspired by this new class of women who are writing and creating music that is truly giving female country fans something to love. 

When discussing how she chooses to cut a song or what she aspires to write, she tells us; “I want songs that really represent me as a person or the message that I want to say, that it’s empowering, making someone feel something.” Her first single, an outside cut that her producer Steve Dorff had been saving for eight years was written by Barry Dean and the late, Andrew Dorff. Upon hearing “That Kind Of Song” for the first time, she just knew that it was something she wanted to cut. “I heard the song and I could just hear myself singing it, I saw what Steve saw when he thought of me for the song, I connected so much to the storytelling of the song because it’s so unique.” With beautiful imagery and a twist on a typical stereotypical country lyric, “That Kind of Song” can be a reminder of how important a loved one is. “In a time like this when there is so much news, so much noise out there, you don’t know what to believe, its a bit of a crazy world and I think it’s a song that really reminds you what is really important at the end of the day,” she tells us.  Charette was trusted with bringing the great song to life, giving justice to an Andrew Dorff song, and knows the honor of bringing his words to the world. Listen to her sweeping, powerful vocals on the touching ballad below.

 

Looking ahead, she tells us that she is excited to release the music video for her single and to also continue to create and release new music. 

To keep up with Liv Charette follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

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SHOP THE HERO COLLECTION

The Hero Collection by NYCountry Swag is inspired by the men and women of the Fire, Police and Military Departments across the country. A portion of sales from each purchase is donated to different foundations that support our heroes. We are dedicated to honoring their service and remembering their sacrifice.

—————————-

Thank You for supporting Country Music in NYC & Beyond!

Subscribe to our Weekly Round-Up here 
for ticket giveaways, meet & greet contests, upcoming events,
and all things country music in the New York metro area and beyond!

+ Follow our country music adventures on InstagramTwitter & Facebook:

 

NYCS Swag Spotlight Drew Green

Drew Green

“You just gotta chase your gut. A dream is a gut feeling.

So I think that’s really why you can’t explain it.”

 

This week we are featuring a new Sony Music Nashville signee, Drew Green as a Swag Spotlight Artist. Although new to the artist side of things, Green possesses the talent, determination, and the skills needed to make it in this tough industry.

Born and raised on a tree farm in a town called McMinnville in Middle Tennessee, Green reminisces about what it was like riding on a tractor with his father at a young age. “I just listened to my headphones all day long,” he laughs, “I have a pretty eclectic taste in music, but I listened to a lot of country, that’s my roots, a lot of Alan Jackson, a lot of Sammy Kershaw.”

Those early influences kept the budding singer-songwriter on the trajectory towards music. He started singing and writing music in high school and played shows in college while working towards obtaining a finance degree. With no real plan to pursue music, Green was discovered by a man named Steve Smith who just so happened to own one of the biggest bars in Music City, Tootsies World Famous Orchid Lounge. Green took the invitation and ended up playing at the Nashville spot for 6 months,  honing his entertainer side.

Eventually, the singer started to pursue a “normal” life, leaving performing to go work at a bank for two years with his wife by his side; however, music was still in his blood. He continued to write and craft his songwriting ability but knew something was missing. “I realized I had been writing a whole lot and kind of missed playing live, so I called up Tootsies and they remembered me, and they gave me like the best gig ever [that night],” adding, “I played there four nights a week […] and I wrote songs every day.”

With over a thousand songs to his name, Green has really solidified himself as a prolific songwriter in the industry, even landing a publishing deal after Florida Georgia Line cut his song “Colorado.” As fate would have it, there were even bigger plans in store for Green. After a meeting with Brett James, James told Green, “I think you’re ready for a record deal.”

Ultimately the singer signed with Sony Music Nashville, and since then has released two songs under the label, “Little More Be Alright” and “Right Where I Be.” The former was inspired by a buddy from back home in a simple conversation about wanting something that you didn’t necessarily need. During a write the song just kind of fell into place and became the most perfect storytelling song. “I just starting spitting out stuff. A little more would be better of money in the bank […] We kinda wrote all the verses first and then the chorus,” he tells us, “About 4 hours into the write, it hit us about how good that timeline was.”

On the other hand, “Right Where I Be” showcases Green’s more urban influences, such as rap star and producer Dr. Dre. “There’s a lot of stuff that I really, really like that is pretty ahead and that was one of them,” he shared, “I wrote that song and I was obsessed with it the day I wrote it and I knew it was really good.” The song was eventually transformed into his debut music video, which was exactly like Green has pictured.

Although each song showcases a different side of his artistry, it is clear that Green has found his sound and his style within his music. “Songwriting by far helped me more than anything. I wouldn’t have found myself as an artist and what my sound should be if I hadn’t written a 1000 songs before I found it.”

Fans can definitely expect more new music coming from Green before 2020 is up. We are sure whatever he released will be innovative, inspiring, and most importantly, true to him. Make sure to keep Drew Green on your radar because he is primed for much success!

To keep up with Drew Green follow him on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

“Little More Be Alright” and “Right Where I Be” is now available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released music here on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.

—————

SHOP THE HERO COLLECTION

The Hero Collection by NYCountry Swag is inspired by the men and women of the Fire, Police and Military Departments across the country. A portion of sales from each purchase is donated to different foundations that support our heroes. We are dedicated to honoring their service and remembering their sacrifice.

—————————-

Thank You for supporting Country Music in NYC & Beyond!

Subscribe to our Weekly Round-Up here 
for ticket giveaways, meet & greet contests, upcoming events,
and all things country music in the New York metro area and beyond!

+ Follow our country music adventures on InstagramTwitter & Facebook:

NYCS Swag Spotlight: Josh Melton

Josh Melton

Our Swag Spotlight this week, Josh Melton is eager to make a name for himself in the country music scene. He may have gotten a late start to music, but he makes up for it with raw talent, charisma, and of course the ability and desire to soak it all in. We chatted with the rising artist about where he has been, where he is now, and where he is headed.

Growing up in Ohio, Melton was a preacher’s kid, which came with a unique set of values. “We weren’t allowed to listen to secular music,” he shared, “It sounds a little crazy talking about it now, but I barely ever listened to music growing up all.” Other than singing in his church choir, Melton focus was on anything but music. He often found himself participating in extreme sports like snowboarding and skateboarding, adding, “I grew up without music honestly and that’s kinda crazy.”

The singer-songwriter found music later in life when a buddy of his asked him to help with a Karaoke bar every Thursday on an island in Ohio called Put-in-Bay. “When people weren’t singing, he was like “Josh you got to sing something”,” he recalls, adding later that the only thing he really knew was Frank Sinatra. Melton continued to find his voice working with his friend and hearing other people sing more modern songs. He slowly started recognizing his affinity for country music.

“The more current stuff- I just started falling in love with that kind of music. A lot of my friends growing up had country on, so I just think it was an evolution of me just like being around it.” Melton relates to the message that county music often portrays, feeling a connection to subjects in songs, such as church and good people. This revelation convinced the singer to move to Nashville, unsure of exactly what he wanted to pursue.

“When I moved to Nashville, I didn’t know what I really wanted to do,” he shared, “All I wanted to do was sing.” He landed gigs on Broadway, singing cover songs at popular bars, “For a while there, I spun my wheels on Broadway because I thought that was making it.” He shared that he only knew ten cover songs at the time, so he ended up learning over a hundred cover songs in one summer by renting a storage unit from a friend and practicing stage presence and guitar, playing songs in the mirror.

Flash forward to today, Melton has found value in listening to more modern singers. “I love Thomas Rhett’s character and how he involves his family in his career,” he shared with us, also adding, “I love Jordan Davis and Old Dominion [too]. I love the vibe of those guys.” Nowadays, Melton has shifted gears, focusing on songwriting and creating original music. “I found out that it was really all about a song and that’s how everybody else got to where they got, having a great song. I think I started to focus on writing about 4 years ago.”

The singer has had the chance to work with some of his icons, playing writer’s rounds, and even writing with Old Dominion recently. His current single “Staycation” has received praise from the country music world, even landing on major playlists on both Apple Music and Spotify.  The single just so happened to coincide with the times, which made it even more perfect. “We wrote that song about six months ago,” he told us, adding, “It’s kinda a no brainer for us to give it to the people.” The song is the perfect introduction to Melton’s unique vocals and his creative and fresh songwriting.

Although Melton understandably cannot be sure of what the future has to hold, he promises that there will be more music coming down the pipeline soon. The singer shared that he wants to release a song every couple of months and hopes to head out on to the road when touring begins again. Until then, fans should stream “Staycation” as much as possible!

To keep up with Josh Melton follow him on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

“Staycation” is now available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released music here on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.

—————

SHOP THE HERO COLLECTION

The Hero Collection by NYCountry Swag is inspired by the men and women of the Fire, Police and Military Departments across the country. A portion of sales from each purchase is donated to different foundations that support our heroes. We are dedicated to honoring their service and remembering their sacrifice.

—————————-

Thank You for supporting Country Music in NYC & Beyond!

Subscribe to our Weekly Round-Up here 
for ticket giveaways, meet & greet contests, upcoming events,
and all things country music in the New York metro area and beyond!

+ Follow our country music adventures on InstagramTwitter & Facebook:

NYCS Swag Spotlight: Tera Lynne Fister

Tera Lynne Fister

If you are looking to fall in love with a new artist, who is inspiring many people through her music, look no farther then our Swag Spotlight this week, Tera Lynne Fister. She is as real as they come, authentic, a story-teller, and one of those ‘born to be’ a singer type of people. We chatted with her about her blossoming career, her new single, and of course her inner calling to inspire others.

Born in Fenton, Missouri, outside of St. Louis, Fister considers her childhood to be a positive experience. “I kinda lived the American dream, to be honest,” she started, adding later, how much her family has supported her over the years. “My mom always said that I came out of the womb singing. She said that I could sing before I really formed sentences and that I would mimic the radio and the band.”

Growing up, the songstress explored many different types of music. She played drums and guitar and even sang in the choir at church, but some of her earliest memories came from good ole’ country radio. “When I was younger, it was mostly 90s country. I spent a lot of my time with my mom and that was her thing.” She recalls loving artists like Martina McBride and Sara Evans, and then eventually adding artists like Miranda Lambert to her music library.

Although she seemed to inherit her love for country music from her mother, Fister recalls being introduced to artists like Frank Sinatra from her father, musical theatre from her older brother, and even heavy metal from her sister. In high school, the singer even took a liking to punk-rock bands like Fall Out Boy, Foo Fighters, and Paramore. “To this day, I’m still obsessed with everything Hayley Williams,” she added, speaking highly of the female lead singer of Paramore.

Straight after college, Fister decided it was time to make the big move to Nashville. She had been going to Music City once a month, participating in writer’s rounds and making connections in the community, which led her to her decision. “I had just finished a round,” she tells us, “[My friends and I] were standing around at Rippy’s and a guy on stage, pointed me out, and pulled me up on stage and hired me on the spot.”

The singer cut her teeth on Broadway and has spent the last eight years honing her craft. Her newest single, “Scars” is a perfect introduction to her talent, and it is only just the beginning. The new song was created from Fister’s insecurity about the scar on her hand that symbolized a broken past relationship. A conversation with a fellow writer led her to create a song that anyone can relate to. “The fact of the matter was every human, the longer you live, the more stories you have to tell, and absolutely no one gets out unscathed,” she shared of the song, “I felt that while we were writing it, it was a unifying song.

Fister has gone on to create a movement on social media, #ShowMeYourScars, where she encourages fans to share their stories and showcase their imperfections in a beautiful collective response to pain and experiences. “I think that what we’re all striving for is equality. Equality in all fashions,” she shared, “We have to be able to learn from our past to move forward and to grow, and change is growth.”

The songstress is on the verge of releasing her first studio album and promises that fans will continue to get more music as the year continues. Fister will continue to release music that is true to her and her open-book mentality. “I just want to keep it honest. I never want to touch on something that I didn’t experience myself. It has to be honest. It has to be authentic. It has to be genuine. And I won’t sing it if it’s not in every fiber of my being.” We look forward to supporting the rising artist on her one of a kind journey.

To keep up with Tera Lynne Fister follow her on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

“Scars” is now available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released music here on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.

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SHOP THE HERO COLLECTION

The Hero Collection by NYCountry Swag is inspired by the men and women of the Fire, Police and Military Departments across the country. A portion of sales from each purchase is donated to different foundations that support our heroes. We are dedicated to honoring their service and remembering their sacrifice.

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Thank You for supporting Country Music in NYC & Beyond!

Subscribe to our Weekly Round-Up here 
for ticket giveaways, meet & greet contests, upcoming events,
and all things country music in the New York metro area and beyond!

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NYCS Swag Spotlight: Hudson Valley

Hudson Valley

We especially love introducing our followers to country artists and groups who are from our home state of New York. This week’s Swag Spotlight fits the bill. Hudson Valley is a new female-fronted country band that is rooted in country vocals with a rock-infused sound, all while keeping with a fresh perspective that comes from growing up in New York.

We chatted with the lead singer, Sarah Owens and her drum-playing husband, Richie, one of the members of her band, all about their journey together, their new music, and how the landscape of country music has changed over the years.

Both Sarah and Richie grew up in Hudson Valley, New York, but it was Sarah who always dreamed of playing music. “It was always music,” she tells us, “There’s never been another option for me […] I was going to be a country singer,” adding later, “For me, I always sang country music, it was always my thing.” Sarah grew up on female powerhouses in the country music genre like Shania Twain, Martina McBride, Faith Hill, and Trisha Yearwood, despite her friends being interested in other genres, and country music not getting the recognition it deserved in New York during her upbringing.

Although she played music her entire life, including playing in a cover band with her husband, it wasn’t until 2018, when she and her new husband finally made the big move to Nashville. “Once we came down here, it was just all country all the time, and I was like, finally, we were where we needed to be,” she explains. The plan originally was to continue to write and eventually release music as a solo female artist; however, an industry executive suggested that she create a band instead. After a night out with her husband and two other potential band members, Hudson Valley was formed.

 

Currently, Sarah fronts the band with Richie playing drums, Andrew Kopek on bass, and Matthew Farinelli on guitar. The foursome combined their influences in the rock, punk rock, and country music genre to create a sound that makes Hudson Valley so authentic and unique. Because of the vast influences, the songstress tells us, “With being influenced by rock music, Hudson Valley is [essentially] a rock band with country lyrics.”

That notion is ever present in their newest released single “Right Place Now.” Ironically, the romantic country-rock jam was the first song that Sarah ever co-wrote during her trip to Nashville in 2017, just before she moved. “I had always written my own music, but I had her written music with people who had number one songs. I was scared to death,” she shares with us about writing with fellow country artist Sheri Austin.

After getting the idea one night after seeing Vince Gill perform at the coveted Grand Ole Opry, she took the title “Right Place Now” to a write, ultimately creating the song. “I wanted it to be something about being in the right place now. As much as it was about being in Nashville because that’s where I feel like I belonged,” she explains, “It suddenly became about my husband. As much as it’s about a place, it’s about a love at the same time.” The brand new single ultimately has its root in Nashville but is relatable because of the romance.

We think this is only the beginning for Hudson Valley. Their unique perspective on country music will keep them in the limelight for sure, as they continue their journey. Currently, the band has a residency at Blake Shelton’s bar, ‘Ole Red’ in Nashville and plan to release three more songs before the year is up. The group also promises that they will be out there touring again when it is safe for fans to come to shows, and hopefully playing venues in New York! Until then, fans can enjoy their new single and their previously released project Seven.

To keep up with Hudson Valley follow them on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

“Right Place Now” is now available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released music here on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.

 

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SHOP THE HERO COLLECTION

The Hero Collection by NYCountry Swag is inspired by the men and women of the Fire, Police and Military Departments across the country. A portion of sales from each purchase is donated to different foundations that support our heroes. We are dedicated to honoring their service and remembering their sacrifice.

Saturday Night Live Combs

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Thank You for supporting Country Music in NYC & Beyond!

Subscribe to our Weekly Round-Up here
for ticket giveaways, meet & greet contests, upcoming events,
and all things country music in the New York metro area and beyond!

+ Follow our country music adventures on InstagramTwitter & Facebook: